Stop netflixing your life away

Netflix. Such a great invention. The ability to access millions of movies and series at the press of a button. Even better now that you don’t have to change for a new episode, it just continuously runs.

I recently made the brave move to delete my Netflix. Why you ask? Well, Netflix is a distraction. It distracts us from our goals, from our vision, from what we want to achieve in life. This may sounds extreme, but think about it. See the below infographic as provided by the Business Insider:

nielesen binge shows.png.jpeg

Here we can see how long it takes to watch an entire series. I have spent hours upon hours watching series after series and I kid you not, some series three times (Gossip Girl in case you were wondering). With this knowledge I decided to do a little calculation. Using this website ‘The Binge Clock’,  I could calculate how many hours I have spent watching Gossip Girl. Well, the truth is, I have spent over two weeks of my life watching Gossip Girl. TWO WEEKS. Lets put that in perspective:

15 days 3 hours = 363 hours

363 hours could have been better spent:

-> Going to the gym every day for a year (and would still have an extra 7 hours);

-> Sleeping more (I am constantly giving out about how little I sleep and how tired I am);

-> Taking up a new hobby such as learning to play the flute, or learning a new language;

-> spending more time with friends or family by giving them a call;

-> working on your side hustle.

But why do we watch it? I think one of the main enjoyments I derive from watching Netflix or any other sort of television series provider is the ability to live vicariously through the lives of others. Take Gossip Girl for example, I get to get a glimpse into the elite world of Manhattan socialites that I would never otherwise be allowed into. And this luxury makes me forget for a second (or for forty minutes) all my problems and brings me into this world of luxury where I almost believe, I am part of that world. Furthermore it is a distraction, a distraction from my current worries and problems, a way to ignore my issues and pretend everything is fine. Netflixing our weekends away is a modern-day phenomenon which is leading people to numb their lives by distracting themselves from their problems and not leading the life they could live.

 

Unknown-2.png

 

Now this article is not meant to make any one cold-turkey themselves from Netflix, but just to highlight the amount of time that is wasted on Netflix which could be used far more productively. There is a lot of good to be said for watching series as it is a great way to shut off for a while, but the bring home message of this article is to simply be aware of the tiem you are spending Netflixing especially if you are complaining about not having enoug time to do things.

Advertisements

Discovering yourself: Who am I

More often then not, we let other people define ourselves. Before we are able to form our own idea of who we are, we are told. This is why it it is so important to define yourself in order to achieve the life you want.

Today’s exercise to help you discover your true authentic self is to fill in the blank: I am _______

Write down, without consciously thinking, what you are. Are you a lawyer, a mom, a student, a friend, tired of life, bored, interested, ambitious etc. Look at these words and decide, do these words/labels correspond to the life you want to live, to the goals you wish to achieve?

 

The treadmill of life

I feel like I am stuck. Stuck on this treadmill of life. The alarm goes off. I get up. I get dressed into my black work clothes. I eat my breakfast. I walk to work. I am in work from 9-6. I leave work. I go home. Plans to meet up with friends forgotten. Plans to go to the gym long forgotten. Far too tired. I make dinner. I watch some Netflix. I wash my face and teeth. I get into bed. I check my Facebook for the tenth time that hour. I look at other people’s lives envious of them. I turn off the light. I go to sleep. The alarm goes off and it starts again. Every day.

I cannot live this life for the next forty years.

 

 

How to small talk: FORD

No I am not talking about the car, I am talking about the perfect technique to make small talk: FORD. Each letter stands for a topic of conversation you can have with a new person.

F: Stands for family. It is recommended to ask people about their family, however, I might be unusual in this regard, but I would be uncomfortable if a brand new stranger asked about my family life. I think family can definitely be brought into small talk but in a general way by referencing your own family. This will encourage others to talk about their family if they so wish. For example I could be engaging someone in conversation, and we both see an Audi, and I could say something like ‘Oh I love Audis, my brother has one and since then I am obsessed’. This allows people to feel comfortable bringing up their own family members, rather than a question of ‘where do your parents live?’ which given the person might be awkward, as perhaps their parents are divorced, perhaps they don’t get on with their parents or perhaps their parents are dead. Therefore, I would put caution on this topic and use family as small talk fodder by introducing the topic of your own family and see how the other person reacts.

 

2. O: Stands for occupation. This is particularly useful in a work setting. You can talk to anyone about their job when you are at work. What do you do? Any advice for this? What area do you like? How did you get into that area? etc. I would generally stay away from this strand of conversation however when I am out at night as I feel it’s a rather boring start to a conversation in a club/pub as it’s the wrong setting. However in the right setting, being a workplace, it is a perfect way to develop small talk.

 

3. R: Stands for recreation: This is perhaps my favourite thing to talk to people about. I love to know about peoples’ passions and what lights them up – this all falls under recreation. I like to ask questions like ‘if you wake up anywhere in the world where would it be’, ‘what are your hobbies’; whats an ideal Sunday for you etc. This conversation works very well in clubs and pubs where people are very open to discussion.

4. D stands for dreams: I feel this links in very well to the above topic. Asking people what their dreams are in life. What they want from it. What are their priorities in life? Where do they see themselves in ten years time?

 

There are four categories of discussion to start a conversation going. So in order to keep it going (a) ask follow-up questions and (b) relate your own experiences. Remember this is a conversation not an interrogation. So for example, perhaps the person mentions that they were on holiday recently in Greece. You could follow-up by saying one of the following:

(a) Greece, wow I was there a few years ago. I stayed on this tiny little island where there was barely any English speakers. It was amazing. Where were you staying? You see here not only do you relate your own experience but you also have a follow-up question to provoke further conversation.

(b) Greece, oh I have been dreaming of going there for years ever since I saw Mama Mia. Where would you recommend is the best place to visit there? This allows the person to follow-up with telling you their own experience and also opens the opportunity to converse about movies. 

(c) Greece, that seems such an amazing place. There is a little greek restaurant on x street that I used to love going to. I love mezzo platters. This again allows the person to follow-up talking about their food experience in Greece or about food in general – etc ‘Oh I like Greek food, but I got to say, Italians know good food. I love a good pasta.

So now you see how you can develop a conversation. And if all else fails and these topics do not spark a conversation, there is always the weather. No one can resist commenting on the weather especially in Ireland.

 

Let me know in the comment section below if you have any suggestions of how to make small talk.

 

Goal in life.

This picture is my end goal in life. I want to be on my deathbed surrounded by people who love me and thinking ‘wow, that was fun. I am tired’.

This might sound grim and morbid thinking about my own death but  one thing everyone needs to remember is that the only thing in life that is guaranteed is death. We will all die. Everything else is a choice. And my choice is to live the best fucking life possible and to fill it with as many fun memories as possible.

Remember this, everything you do is a choice. And the only thing that is guaranteed is death. It is up to you, between now and then, to decide how the fuck you going to live it. 

Define yourself: Achieve your goals

“Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

– Robert Frost

One of the most dangerous things people do is believe other peoples’ definitions of themselves. We have all been defined from a  young age, either by well meaning parents, siblings, teachers, bullies etc and all these experiences create a voice in the back of our mind which tells us who we are and by default what we are capable of.

For example: One of the words used to always describe me growing up was along the line of intelligent/smart/brainbox/nerdy. Having this definition of myself meant that in school and in life, I had to be the overachiever. I had to get all A’s. I had to be the best academic. After all that was me.

Example two: I was labelled as lazy (despite growing up playing team sports every day after school and swimming every day), this led to me believing that I was lazy and thereby creating barriers to achieving my goals. I would never ever label myself as sporty or gym bunny or anything athletic at all, despite the fact that I go to the gym on average four times a week.

We all have these definitions and they create a story which runs in the back of our mind. This can be both useful and dangerous.

The danger in these definitions is that they cause limitations in our mind. Say for example you have been called fat your whole life, you identify with fat people and fat habits, you eat more because, hey you are fat, you don’t exercise because hey you are fat. Going to the gym would not be an option as thats what fit people do and you are fat. Therefore you do not go to the gym.

However, if you learn to define yourself. You could create your own barriers to live within. Say you want to get healthy, start defining yourself as healthy. Start identifying with the fitness industry people you admire, or your friend who is a gym bunny or that guy in work who is always going for a run.

The short version in this article is: Letting other people define you cause barriers to achieving your goals. Taking the power and defining yourself can be a powerful tool in achieving your goals. 

In the next post, I will explain how to use break down the barriers caused by definitions and how to use new definitions to help you to achieve your goals.

 

 

Why I started this blog

I want to empower people to live the best lives that they can. This blog will contain tips and tricks on how to better your life and achieve the goals you want to achieve.

It will be focused on developing a skill set that will help you get the results you want in life.